Iraq Situation: UNHCR Flash Update - 8 March 2018
2.3 million IDPs remain displaced since January 2014
280,014 Iraqi refugees hosted in countries in the region, with 12,283 Iraqis in camps in Al-Hassakeh Governorate, Syria
697,974 IDPs in Ninewa (including as a result of the Mosul military operation)
68,436 IDPs currently displaced due to military operations in Hawiga (Kirkuk) and Shirqat (Salah al-Din)
53,646 IDPs currently displaced due to military operations in west Anbar
685,182 individuals (143,893 households) currently enrolled in ASSIST, UNHCR’s assistance tracking tool
USD 578 million requested for IDPs and Iraqi refugees in the region in 2018
The three governorates reporting the largest decrease in numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) are Anbar (-17 per cent), Baghdad (-12 per cent) and Ninewa (-6 per cent). Together, they account for almost twothirds of the nationwide decrease. Not all IDP returns are sustainable, and several factors may push families into further displacement, including destroyed infrastructure, lack of basic services, the presence of armed groups, explosive hazards and fear of collective punishment.
Movements of people from areas of return back to camps continue to be observed, especially in Anbar, Salah al-Din, Kirkuk and Ninewa governorates. Inability to pay rent, lack of access to services such as water and electricity, and destruction of homes and security concerns, especially in areas like Hawija district, are reported to be the main reasons for returning to camps. It has been observed that many families returning to Mosul camps are female-headed households with few possibilities for income or livelihood.
Over 3,200 families in Salah al-Din Governorate and 700 families in Baghdad Governorate are at risk of being evicted from their current sites of displacement in camps and informal settlements, and may face premature and involuntary return to their areas of origin in Anbar, Salah al-Din and Ninewa governorates.
In a joint announcement published on 6 March, the Government of Iraq, the United Nations and its partners launched their 2018 humanitarian plans for Iraq: the Government’s Plan for Relief, Shelter and Stabilization of Displaced People and the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). The humanitarian community is appealing USD 569 million through the HRP to respond to the needs of the 3.4 million most vulnerable people in Iraq. This year, approximately 8.7 million people, nearly half of them children, will require some form of humanitarian assistance while as many as two million displaced Iraqis are expected to return.
The Government’s Plan for Relief, Shelter and Stabilization of Displaced People aims to strengthen the provision of legal assistance for IDPs and support the safe return of families with one-off emergency cash assistance and basic projects, while simultaneously continuing to support displaced families with relief items and maintaining the provision of services in camps.
On the occasion of the International Women’s Day on 8 March, UNHCR with its partners organized a variety of events in youth and community centres and IDP and refugee camps across Iraq, to celebrate and commemorate the political, social and economic achievements of women around the theme ‘Time is Now: rural and urban activists transforming women’s lives’. Activities included tree planting, discussions about domestic violence, handicraft exhibitions by women, awareness-raising sessions on women’s right to work and job opportunities, roundtable discussions on women’s participation in public affairs and elections, Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) sessions, video projections of women’s success stories, and role plays re-enacting issues faced by women.